Liquor Laboratory

Which Country Consumes The Most Whiskey Overall? (2024)

which country consumes the most whiskey overall

While Scotland and the United States are the obvious contenders for most whiskeys produced, such is not the case when it comes to whiskey consumption. So  which country consumes the most whiskey overall? You’ll be surprised to know. 

Which Country Consumes the Most Whiskey Overall

Countries That Consume The Most Whiskey Overall

Based on Drinking Population

4. Japan

In 2014, Japan placed fourth as the largest consumer, with 109 million liters of whiskey consumed. 

Japan struggles with its drinking culture that in the past 30 years, alcohol consumption and drinking population have increased by 250% [1]. 

3. France

People Waving the Flag of France

This country may not have a high population, but French whiskey drinkers relatively increased along with the recommended limit of alcohol consumption per person.

The country is the third-largest consumer and was recorded to consume 140 million liters in 2014. 

2. The United States

The United States is the second-most populous country that loves drinking an alcoholic beverage.

Its total whiskey consumption is higher than others because there were 462 million liters consumed in 2014. 

1. India

Flag of India

India is home to 1.4 billion people, and an estimated 160 million people consume alcohol [2]. With this, the country takes the first spot of being the highest whiskey consumer in the world, with 1.5 billion liters of whiskey. 

Based on Bank of America Merrill Lynch research, India consumed nearly half of the whiskey in the world. 

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Based On Total Per Capita Consumption

Based On Total Per Capita Consumption

10. Canada

Canada is the 10th country that consumes a large amount of whiskey per capita. It has 1.19 liters per inhabitant per year, as posted on LinkedIn. 

But can you be a bartender at age 18?

9. India

India placed 9th per capita on drinking whiskey with a record of 1.24 liters per person per year. Also, it is the top country with high whiskey consumption based on the drinking population. 

8. Ireland

Jameson Whiskey Bottle

Ireland is home to five million people, but the record shows that it has 1.24 liters per person per year of whiskey consumed. Ireland has the same drinking rate as India. 

7. The United Kingdom

67 million people live in the United Kingdom, one of the countries in the world that produces whiskey (Great Britain). Also, it has been recorded to have 1.25 liters of consumed whiskey per inhabitant in a year. 

6. The United Arab Emirates

The people of the United Arab Emirates love to drink whiskey, so there is no doubt that the country consumes a million liters of spirits each year. 

Each inhabitant drinks 1.27 liters per year, and it is considered one of the world’s high consumers of spirits like whiskey and bourbon.  

5. Spain

Westward Whiskey with glass

Spain has 1.29 liters of consumed whiskey per inhabitant per year. Also, 93% of 47.35 million people living there have consumed spirits. 

4. Australia

Australia is the fourth country with a population that consumes whiskey way higher than India and Japan. Each inhabitant has consumed 1.3 liters of alcoholic drink per year and based on its 25.69 million population; it’s relatively high. 

3. The United States

Americans surely love the quality of their whiskies, so each inhabitant has consumed 1.41 liters of distilled drink per year. But how much does an average American drink?

2. Uruguay

A drawing of the flag of Uruguay

Uruguay slides to the second spot for being the largest whiskey consumer, with 1.8 liters per inhabitant per year consumed. 

1. France

This country is the largest consumer of whiskey in the world per capita basis. Based on statistics, more than two liters (2.15) of whiskey are consumed by each inhabitant annually. 

FAQs Related to Which Country Consumes the Most Whiskey Overall

Which country drinks the most Scotch whisky?

As of the most recent available data, the United States stands as the largest consumer of Scotch whisky globally. Despite Scotland being the birthplace of Scotch whisky, the United States has consistently maintained its position as the leading market for Scotch whisky consumption.

Several factors contribute to the United States’ status as the largest consumer of Scotch whisky. One significant factor is the country’s large population and robust economy, providing a vast consumer base with diverse tastes and preferences. Additionally, Scotch whisky has gained popularity in the United States due to its association with prestige, sophistication, and quality craftsmanship.

Furthermore, the United States has a vibrant whisky culture, with a growing interest in whiskey appreciation, tasting events, and distillery tours. Scotch whisky’s versatility in cocktails and mixology has also contributed to its popularity among American consumers.
Marketing efforts by Scotch whisky producers, including targeted advertising campaigns, brand ambassador programs, and product innovation, have further fueled demand in the United States.

How much whiskey does Scotland consume?

Scotland consumed an estimated amount of 15 million liters of whiskey per year. Even though Scotland produces a lot of whiskies, they have to drink more to keep up with India and the United States. 

Which Country Consumes the Most Whiskey Overall?

As of the most recent data available, the title of the country consuming the most whiskey overall belongs to India. India’s whiskey consumption has surged significantly over the past few decades, driven by factors such as population growth, rising incomes, and changing consumer preferences.

One of the key reasons for India’s high whiskey consumption is its cultural and social significance. Whiskey is often associated with celebrations, social gatherings, and even religious ceremonies in some regions of the country. Additionally, the popularity of whiskey-based cocktails and mixed drinks has contributed to its widespread consumption.

Another factor driving whiskey consumption in India is the presence of a large and growing middle class with increasing disposable income. As more Indians enter the middle-income bracket, they have more purchasing power to spend on luxury goods, including premium whiskies.

Furthermore, India’s diverse whiskey market offers a wide range of options to consumers, from locally-produced brands to imported varieties. This diversity caters to different tastes and preferences, further fueling whiskey consumption across the country.
While historically known for its preference for spirits like rum, India’s whiskey consumption has surpassed that of other spirits in recent years, solidifying its position as the leading consumer of whiskey worldwide.

Is Whiskey Consumption High in Other Countries Besides the United States?

Yes, while the United States leads in overall whiskey consumption, other countries such as Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Japan also have significant whiskey consumption rates.

What Factors Contribute to the United States’ High Whiskey Consumption?

Several factors contribute to the United States’ high whiskey consumption, making it a beloved spirit deeply ingrained in American culture and drinking habits.

Historical Legacy: Whiskey has a long and storied history in the United States, dating back to colonial times. It played a significant role in early American trade, agriculture, and even politics, with events like the Whiskey Rebellion highlighting its importance.
Cultural Significance: Whiskey holds a special place in American culture, symbolizing tradition, craftsmanship, and rugged individualism. Its association with cowboy culture, the Wild West, and iconic figures like Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway contributes to its romanticized image.

Diverse Offerings: The United States boasts a diverse range of whiskey styles, including bourbon, rye, Tennessee whiskey, and craft varieties. This variety appeals to a wide range of palates and preferences, contributing to whiskey’s popularity across demographics.
Cocktail Culture: The rise of cocktail culture in the United States has propelled whiskey consumption, with classic drinks like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour remaining perennial favorites. Whiskey’s versatility in cocktails and mixology further enhances its appeal.

Marketing and Innovation: Whiskey producers have leveraged marketing strategies and product innovation to attract consumers, with initiatives such as limited editions, flavored varieties, and experiential marketing campaigns driving interest and consumption.
Global Influence: The United States’ influence on global whiskey trends, particularly through the popularity of bourbon and craft distilleries, has bolstered domestic consumption. American whiskey’s reputation for quality and craftsmanship has also expanded its appeal internationally, further fueling its consumption domestically.

Overall, a combination of historical, cultural, and market-driven factors contributes to the United States’ enduring love affair with whiskey, solidifying its position as a staple in the nation’s drinking culture.

Are There Any Trends or Patterns in Whiskey Consumption Across Different Countries?

Whiskey consumption patterns can vary widely among countries and regions, influenced by cultural preferences, availability of different whiskey types, marketing strategies, and socioeconomic factors.

Does Whiskey Consumption Vary Depending on the Type of Whiskey?

Yes, whiskey consumption does vary depending on the type of whiskey, as different types of whiskey offer distinct flavor profiles, production methods, and cultural associations, influencing consumer preferences and consumption patterns.

For example, Scotch whisky, typically produced in Scotland, is renowned for its smoky, peaty flavors derived from the malting process and aging in oak barrels. Scotch whisky connoisseurs often appreciate its complexity and tradition, leading to slower sipping and a focus on the whisky’s nuanced characteristics. It is often enjoyed neat or with a splash of water to release its flavors.

In contrast, American whiskey, such as bourbon and rye, tends to have sweeter, spicier notes with varying levels of oak influence. Bourbon, in particular, has gained popularity for its versatility in cocktails, leading to increased consumption in mixed drinks like the classic Old Fashioned or Mint Julep. Rye whiskey, with its bold and spicy character, is also favored in cocktails like the Manhattan or Whiskey Sour.
Irish whiskey, known for its smoothness and light, fruity flavors, has experienced a resurgence in recent years, appealing to both casual drinkers and whiskey aficionados alike. It is often enjoyed straight or in cocktails like the Irish Coffee.

Are There Any Emerging Markets for Whiskey Consumption Outside of Traditional Whiskey-Producing Countries?

Yes, there are indeed emerging markets for whiskey consumption outside of traditional whiskey-producing countries. Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable surge in whiskey appreciation in various parts of the world, driven by factors such as globalization, urbanization, and evolving consumer tastes.

One notable emerging market for whiskey consumption is in Asia, particularly in countries like China, India, and Japan. In China, a growing middle class with increased disposable income has led to a burgeoning demand for premium spirits, including whiskey. Similarly, in India, the whiskey market has been expanding rapidly, fueled by a growing young population and a burgeoning cocktail culture. Additionally, Japan has seen a remarkable rise in the popularity of its own native whiskey, with connoisseurs worldwide lauding its craftsmanship and unique flavor profiles.

South America is another region witnessing a rising interest in whiskey consumption. Countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia have seen a surge in whiskey imports and consumption, driven by urbanization, changing lifestyles, and a desire for premium alcoholic beverages.

Furthermore, parts of Africa, particularly countries like South Africa and Nigeria, have shown increasing demand for whiskey, reflecting a growing aspirational middle class and a penchant for luxury goods.
These emerging markets present significant opportunities for whiskey producers to expand their global footprint and capitalize on the growing consumer interest in premium spirits beyond the traditional whiskey-producing regions.

How Does Whiskey Consumption in the United States Compare to Other Alcoholic Beverages?

Whiskey consumption in the United States holds a unique and prominent place in the landscape of alcoholic beverages. While it may not boast the sheer volume of consumption seen in beer or wine, whiskey occupies a distinct niche, revered for its craftsmanship, tradition, and cultural significance. In recent years, whiskey consumption in the U.S. has been on the rise, driven by a growing appreciation for premium and craft offerings.

Compared to other alcoholic beverages, whiskey holds its ground as a symbol of sophistication and connoisseurship. While beer maintains its status as the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the U.S., whiskey stands out for its dedicated enthusiasts and burgeoning popularity among younger demographics.

The appeal of whiskey lies in its diverse range of flavors, styles, and aging processes, offering a sensory experience that transcends mere intoxication. Furthermore, the rise of whiskey-centric bars, festivals, and tasting events across the country attests to its growing cultural relevance and consumer interest.

In Summary

India consumes the most whiskey overall. Indians consume 1.5 billion liters of whiskey each year. If you measure it, that’s more than half of the total whiskey produced all over the world.

The drinking population of India indicates that the distilled spirit is well-loved by the people. 

In addition, France takes the spotlight as the world’s largest consumer of whiskey per inhabitant per year. The French get the credit for drinking more than two liters per annum.


  1. Japan Grapples With Alcoholism Crisis
  2. Epidemiology, Hot Spots, and Sociodemographic Risk Factors of Alcohol Consumption in Indian Men and Women: Analysis of National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16), a Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study
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